After checking out the books they like at the Carson City Library, children can now check them out - literally.
Employees introduced a machine Friday that allows children to scan their own materials.
"I wanna go," said Sarah Gomer, 4, as her 6-year-old sister, Emily, put eight books through the computerized checkout device in the Youth section of the library. She didn't want to leave; she wanted to do what her older sister was doing.
"I got it," Emily replied.
Emily, who will be in first grade this year, said she likes reading as much as she likes using the new machine.
Once Emily was through checking out her books, Sarah finally got her turn to use it on three books.
Richard Gomer, their father, stood alongside the little girls and helped Emily hold her books steady while she checked out her books.
"They like it because they get to do it themselves. They like to be self-reliant," Gomer said.
This is the first self-serve checkout machine for children. There has been a self-serve machine available to adults for several years, and it allows about 1,000 library patrons to check out their own materials, said Garry Ells, the library's systems and access specialist.
"We feel giving our youth patrons the resource to check out their own library items will promote independence, responsibility, and increase an interest in the library and in reading," said Cory King, youth librarian.
The machine, produced for libraries by 3-M Corp., uses an optical scanner and is similar to retail checkout machines.
A touch-screen displays simple directions, and it can also serve Spanish speakers. After items are scanned and the transactions is complete, the user receives a receipt.
Library cards and materials are coded, and the materials have security devices that allow staff to stop patrons who forget to checkout items, Ells said.
Most important: A stool is available so some of the smallest library patrons can reach the touch screen and help themselves, King said.
Children also will be able to use the new machine to check out videos soon.
However, more fine-tuning is needed because it initially erased a few of the tapes.
The $23,000 machine was obtained through funding from a Library Services and Technology Act grant and the city's Continuous Quality Improvement program.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.